Ex-Duke Lacrosse Players End Lawsuit Against School

Thirty-eight former Duke University lacrosse players ended a 2008 lawsuit alleging that the institution lent its credibility to rape allegations against three other team members who were later vindicated.

An agreement to drop the case against the university, President Richard Brodhead and other officials was filed Feb. 27 in federal court in Durham, North Carolina. That document referenced a Feb. 20 accord that doesn’t appear on the court’s electronic docket.

“My clients settled their lawsuit with Duke,” plaintiffs’ attorney David H. Thompson said today in a telephone interview. The terms of that agreement are confidential, he said.

Michael J. Schoenfeld, a spokesman for the university, said yesterday the case had been resolved. In a phone interview, he too declined to elaborate on the terms of the resolution.

The prosecution of players David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann began in 2006 with a stripper’s claim that she had been attacked after dancing at a team party.

State prosecutors took over the case in 2007 after the original prosecutor, Michael Nifong, was accused of unethical behavior during the investigation. Charges against the players were later dropped and Nifong was disbarred.

The accused players filed a separate lawsuit against the school in 2007.

The 38 settling players will continue to press claims against the city of Durham, public officials and police for “inappropriate and illegal conduct,” Thompson said today.

The case is Carrington v. Duke University, 08-cv-119, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Durham).

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